Some quick thoughts today as we’re gearing up for Find Your Voice 2015, my six-week free storytelling workshop, starting on July 1st. I’ve been struggling a lot with my own writing lately. I fell off my daily writing habit and I’ve just found myself in a slump. Find Your Voice is coming at exactly the right time for me too. I’ve spent the past year learning about who I am here in Michigan and I think I’m finally ready to start telling her stories.
Who Are You?
This is not a static definition.
This is a constantly evolving process.
Change exists in our lives every minute of every day, especially as women. To try to nail down a definitive answer is pretty much a complete waste of time.
That being said —
Knowing who you are at a given point in time gives you perspective; and that perspective is valuable. Knowing things about yourself and knowing where those things fit into the greater world around you will make you a better storyteller.
Your body. Your soul. Your experiences.
They are all a part of who you are.
You are not just a bunch of random facts.
You, as the storyteller, are the most important part of the story. Without you, the story does not exist. The effort that you put into creating the story is just as much a part of the story as the words and the photographs themselves. A little bit of you goes into everything that you create. If someone were to pick up one of your stories, they will know both the text of the story as you’ve created it and the sub-text, crucial and valuable information about the story based on what they know about the you as the storyteller.
Our goal as storytellers shouldn’t be to reduce our experiences into stories, it should be to hone our storytelling skills so that our stories speak to our experiences. We want to create a filter — a you-colored lens — through which our stories are easily told. Maybe your you-colored lens is on instagram, maybe your you-colored lens is through art journaling, maybe your you-colored lens is through pocket page scrapbooking. Maybe it’s a combination of all three. Not only that will that lens be unique to each individual storyteller, but it will also change over time for each individual storyteller, enriching the sub-text of your story and resulting in a beautiful,evolving portrait of the storyteller herself.
The ways in which we choose to tell our stories will no doubt evolve over time. Just as our stories themselves change, we adapt our storytelling methods to fit those changes. Whatever stories you are telling — the big life changing kind, or the small everyday life kind — the ability to effectively communicate your stories through your lens — your voice — isn’t a luxury, it’s an absolutely necessity.
Join me this summer to Find Your Voice (for the first time, or the fiftieth).